Entertainment, Featured

#HelloToDoList: The best of 2019

Nov 25, 2019, Author: Hello Joburg

How magnificent is the City of Gold? So magnificent that narrowing down this list to just 10 of the best places that opened this year was a pretty tall order. Joburg is home to killer restaurants and bars, tough-to-top nightlife and culture, and countless other sources of inspiration. So, to concoct this roundup, we turned to our editors. 


Done something on this list and loved it? Share it on social media with the hashtag #HelloToDoList and tag @HelloJoburgMag. 

EAT: La Petite Maison 

Located along the hustle and bustle of 7th Street, La Petite Maison is a teeny tiny sliver of a restaurant dressed up with inky blue walls, lush greenery, velvet banquettes and burnt orange cocktail chairs. Opened by Tyeya Ngxola and Timothy Stewart, it’s so narrow it feels like a railway carriage and can seat no more than 20 diners but considering the rise in speakeasy bars’ concepts and Instagrammable eateries, it’s clear that the off-the-plate experience is now just as important to diners as what they’re eating. Each course on the map that is the menu represents a region. To start, order the Atlantic-inspired squid ink risotto followed by the Kleinmond sous vide octopus or the Magaliesburg pork belly for mains and the irresistible Coffee Bay tiramisu for dessert. 

1 7th Street, Melville 

010 593 7986  

Facebook: @maisonmelville  

Instagram: @la_maisonmelville 

DRINK: Smoking Kills Bar 

Amid the swank food sanctums sprouting around Melville, Smoking Kills Bar is an unfussy hidey-hole firmly entrenched in part of the space that African tale-inspired cocktail bar, Mootee Bar, used to be in. It has all the hallmarks of any self-respecting dive: Reasonably priced cocktails and craft rums, a retro TV playing grainy reruns of soapies and cartoons, soulful music, scuzzy bathrooms and smokers. Despite the name, you’re allowed to smoke indoors (there’s no outside seating anyway) and the neighbourhood crowd takes full advantage of this. There are also nicer touches, such as an artfully grungy wall marked with graffiti and anarchist tags. Sidle up to the bar and let one of the well-seasoned mixologists serve you a rum cocktail like the Not a Piña Colada or a Chronicles of Banana Man. 

78A 4th Avenue, Melville  

071 346 8804  

Facebook: @smokingkillsbar  

Instagram: @smokingkillsbar 

EAT: Olives & Plates – Embassy 

Outdoor dining takes on a new meaning at Olives & Plates – Embassy. Upon stepping inside the restaurant, you’ll be captivated by the elegant and alluring space prettied with cream tiles, petrol blue velvet couches, gold light fixtures and vases of fresh blooms throughout. However, the pool deck is really what gives it a wow factor. Olives & Plates is known for dishing up premium tapas in glam surroundings, so you simply have to start with a few ‘Little Plates’ – the grilled calamari, grilled chicken skewers, kataifi-wrapped halloumi and falafels. Moving onto mains, classic lunch fixings include the sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, beautifully presented salads, grills, burgers, souvlakis and pastas. A trip to Olives & Plates is never complete without a visit to their ‘Display of Temptation’ cabinet. 

Embassy Towers, 175 Empire Place, Sandhurst  

087 822 1798  

Facebook: @olivesandplates  

Twitter: @olivesandplates  

Instagram: @olives_and_plates 


PAMPER: Sorbet SK-N 

Living in Joburg can be tough on your skin with all the pollution and air-conditioned offices. That’s before we even think about dehydration, harsh weather, alcohol, sun exposure and the inevitable passing of time (eek!). Luckily, at the newly opened Sorbet SK-N in Hyde Park Corner, you can get a relaxing, soothing facial massage, some instant radiance, a total skincare overhaul or something a little more intense. The chic salon boasts understated grey and dusty pink interiors and state-of-the-art treatment rooms and skin technology, and there are many skin treatments to pick from for both women and men. If you’re strapped for time, make a beeline for Sorbet SK-N to sneak a quickie facial in for a well-deserved self-care session. 

Shop UM 70 C Hyde Park Corner, corner of Jan Smuts Avenue & William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park  

010 880 5444  

Facebook: @sorbetskn  

Instagram: @sorbet_skin 

EAT: The Prawnery Bistro & Bar 

Sometimes, trawling Joburg, it can feel like there aren’t that many fish in the sea. Good seafood is hard to come by – well, that was the case until The Prawnery Bistro & Bar opened in Illovo, at least. Whether you fancy a fishy bite or like to savour your seafood, make a beeline for this bright, open-fronted prawn bar and fishmonger that’s thrillingly informal with a double-sided menu of prawn and other seafood dishes. To nibble, order a few of meze – the lightly battered rock shrimp, crisp battered calamari, deep-fried soft shell crab and Swedish Skagen. For mains, you simply must try their signature prawns, which are grilled and served with your choice of lemon, garlic and parsley or peri peri sauce. Unfortunately, there are no desserts, but the giant frozen margaritas sure make up for it! 

Illovo Junction, corner of Oxford Road & Corlett Drive, Illovo  

060 528 7958  

Instagram: @theprawnery 

By Candice May

EAT: Urban Moyo 

You might not be all that enthused knowing that a brand-new Moyo has opened in 24 Central in Sandton. In that case, you’re forgiven because we weren’t either. However, after licking our plates clean, it was clear that this African-inspired restaurant is a stellar addition to Sandton’s dining out scene. An early signal that this place is serious about its food was when we spotted beetroot carpaccio on the menu, which was almost too spectacular to eat. It was clear that vegetables would take centre stage, hence the main course, a roasted chermoula cauliflower steak. Top this all off with a traditional dessert that roars with African pride, a baked Malva pudding. There are also nine cocktails to choose from, each named after a province. 

24 Central, corner of Gwen Lane & Fredman Drive, Sandton  

011 326 5523  

Facebook: @urbanmoyo  

Instagram: @urban_moyo 

PAMPER: Salon Geisha 

This new beauty salon is definitely going to draw in the crowds! Without a doubt, there’s nothing quite like it in Joburg – or the whole country, actually. It was created in a charming, typical Parkhurst home that’s intimate and cosy with buckets of sunlight. But the most impressive thing about this space is the outrageously flamboyant design and décor. Oh, and the Tea Merchant tea they serve, which gingerly arrives in traditional Japanese style with a pot, saucer and all. If that doesn’t tickle your toes, put your feet up and opt for a glass of bubbles. There’s also a noticeable artistic flair to the space – think Geisha wallpaper and garishly flowered wall art that’s so beautiful it’s almost aural. It’s so easy to get lost in the decorative printed patterns but try focus on your five-star mani and pedi too! 

60 6th Street, Parkhurst  

071 095 0337  

Facebook: @geishabeautiful  

Instagram: @salon_geisha 

EAT: Lexi’s Healthy Eatery Rosebank 

Successful food franchises are hard to come by unless the name has the word ‘Famous’ behind it. Then there’s the shrewd team behind Lexi’s Healthy Eatery who’ve just launched their newest venture, Lexi’s Healthy Eatery Rosebank. Just as you’d expect, the space is fresh and invigorating and makes you feel like you’re walking on sunshine. There’s foliage, plants and shrubs throughout – even hanging from the ceilings. Chef and owner Lexi Monzeglio has set the bar when it comes to wholesome, plant-based based hangouts and she’s done it well. The dishes are neither dreary nor too healthy and range from a tropical smoothie bowl and beetroot falafels to a pulled mushroom wrap and hemp burger. The best news yet is that waiter Dumo from the Sandton branch is the manager at the new Rosebank. Bravo! 

The Zone @ Rosebank, 177 Oxford Road, Rosebank 

083 385 5823 


Instagram: @lexiseatery 

PAMPER: Fabulash 

We think it’s fair to lash out because Romy Spiro, female entrepreneur behind the Fabulash brand, has taken her passion to soaring heights. The Fabulash dream began for Romy eight years ago when she left the corporate world to build a brand that she believes in. She’s equally passionate about empowering women by giving them careers and empowering clients by helping them feel good about themselves from the inside out. From the minute you walk into the new Fabulash at Illovo Square, you’re captivated by the beautiful forest green banana leaf feature wall, pink neon sign that says ‘you can’t sit with us’ and trendy but oh-so-comfy aquamarine velvet couch. The lash lounge also boasts rose gold touches and orchids throughout. Of course, we got a full set of lash extensions done and fell in love instantly! 

lllovo Square, 3 Rivonia Road, Illovo 

060 583 2775 

Facebook: @fabulashinternational 

Instagram: @fabulashinternational 


EAT: Kranz 

While sipping on a glass of the finest Cinsault from the Swartland and being mesmerised by a breathtaking view, it’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with our City of Gold. It’s right here at the brand new Kranz restaurant inside The Northcliff Boutique Hotel that you’ll get a taste of the high life. But please don’t expect fine dining, ornamental white tablecloths or a buzzing, pretentious gaggle. Instead, you’ll feel right at home … it’s like dining at your besties if they owned the second highest natural point in the city. The menu is simple with five starters and six mains. We recommend starting with the hearty South Indian mattar paneer or seared duck breast followed by the signature oxtail ravioli for mains. 

10 Solution Close, Northcliff  

087 898 7856  

Facebook: @thenorthcliff  

Instagram: @thenorthcliff

By Bianca Spinner

Spread the love